Iran: Quarreling over Ghosts

The hostage release grows into a burning internal issue

Like ghosts haunting the attic of their past, the 52 American hostages continue to provoke shrill quarrels among their Iranian tormentors. Last week the circumstances of their negotiated release grew into the focal issue of the country's internal political struggle. Each of the opposing positions was riddled with Persian irony and paradox.

On one side stood the clergy-dominated Islamic Republican Party (I.R.P.), which had rabidly supported the taking of the hostages yet ultimately negotiated their release with the nation they called "the Great Satan."...

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